Archive for Christianity

More Symbolic Bible Interpretation – The Wise Men Led By the Star


Let’s take a look at another symbolic metaphysical interpretation of a Bible passage, from the January 1912 issue of Unity Magazine. Here again, Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore shared an interpretation related to the Nativity story — the famous story of the “three wise men” who followed a star to visit the newborn Christ.  Below is the text of Matthew 2:1-12, followed by Fillmore’s symbolic metaphysical, New Thought, interpretation:

1. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise-men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,

2. Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3. And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ should be born.

5. And they said unto him in Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written through the prophet,

6. And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah, art in no wise least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come forth a governor, who shall be shepherd of my people Israel.

7. Then Herod called together the Wise-men in secret, and learned of them exactly what time the star appeared.

8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said. Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him.

9. And they, having heard the king, went their way; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11. And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshiped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

12. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

In Scripture symbology “east” represents the within. As here used the word in the original is plural; the significance therefore is, that from the regions of interior wisdom there come thoughts of reverence for the Holy Life that has begun its growth in the consciousness.

This attitude of reverence is an important feature in developing the Christ-consciousness. Without it the mind loses a certain necessary connection with Spirit and lacks that central poise of faith that gives a religious tenor to the process. Therefore, holy devotion is a factor of vast import in bringing forth the perfect Christ child.

All causes are of the spiritual; even the forms of matter are held in place by invisible thought-ideas. Thought-forms are reflected into what may be termed the astral, or star-dust realms. Thus the body of the Christ child in us is not yet projected into visibility, but its thought-form exists as an image, or pattern, of the coming Jesus—the Star. This is perceived by the inner wisdom, and is a guide to the locality in the nerve centers where it is building …

Herod, the ruling will of the physical, catches a vague feeling of this new power beginning to make itself manifest at the heart, or Jerusalem Center, and he is troubled, and all that part of the consciousness also. There is often a great stirring up of the solar plexus when the new birth sets in, and those who are not in the devotional frame of mind, and are therefore out of touch with the informing wisdom, are liable to think that they have some disease. When you have been quickened of the Spirit you should count every experience as in some way connected with your development on that plane of consciousness.

Those who live in the outer thought alone have no concept of the many subtle mental processes constantly going on in their souls and bodies. Even those who are deep in thought discipline are not always aware of the crafty, plotting ambitions, and many other phases of mentation, working out their natures in the inner consciousness. All that is here described in this lesson might take place in the subjective consciousness of a busy man or woman in whom the Christ mind and body is beginning to be active, and they would not outwardly recognize it except as a vague unrest, or maybe nervous condition.

Thus Herod may be plotting subjectively to destroy the young Christ-consciousness, which he feels gradually usurping his rule, and his subtle thoughts may rise to the surface in a feeling of opposition to any change in existing conditions. If we give up to this our hearts grow spiritually cold, and the Christ-character does not come forth in wisdom and stature, but is suppressed by the scribes, Pharisees, chief priests, and all those states of mind that constitute the person without.

But the “good shepherd” is one who knows the sheep, and they know the shepherd’s voice—every thought is under discipline, and when the wise thoughts from within bring their presents, there is great rejoicing and satisfaction in consciousness.

The presents which the Wise-men bring are symbolical of the inner resources open to the Christ child. They may be stored-up good deeds and thoughts of previous incarnations, which this wisdom within carefully guards and gives to the soul as an inheritance when it arrives at mature age. Thus no good thought or deed is ever lost in the Divine economy, and although you may seem to fail in bringing forth to perfection the Christ child there is no cause for discouragement.

GOLDEN TEXT:  “Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no one else.”—Isaiah 45:22.


A Symbolic Metaphysical Reading of the Story of the Birth of Jesus

In the January 1912 issue of Unity Magazine, Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore shared an interpretation of the story of the birth of Jesus told in Luke 2:1-16, from a symbolic metaphysical, New Thought, perspective.  Below is the text of Luke 2:1-16, followed by Charles Fillmore’s metaphysical interpretation:

1. Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled.

2. This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3. And all went to enroll themselves, every one to his own city.

4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;

5. To enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him being great with child.

6. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered.

7. And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8. And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.

9. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people:

11. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12. And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.

13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.

15. And it came to pass, when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another. Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16. And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.

Vigilance in watching our flocks (thoughts) makes us receptive to the spiritual side of existence. As the shepherds in Oriental countries have a name for every sheep, which is trained to come and go at command, so we should be familiar with our thoughts, and discipline them so thoroughly that they will be obedient to us when we send forth our desire. This familiarity with our mental realm leads to an acquaintance with the character, and gives one an opportunity to strengthen the weak points and repress the undesirable tendencies. It thus clears up and harmonizes the soul so that it is receptive to Divine Ideas. A thought realm in constant turmoil and mortal confusion cannot possibly receive a message from the spiritual realms of consciousness. The command of the One Great Orderly Mind is, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Order in one’s life should also extend to affairs without; this is the decree of Caesar Augustus that “all the world should be enrolled.”

Joseph and Mary represent the Wisdom and Love, which have been ideas in mind, but are now to bring forth a manifestation in substance. The body is the earth, and the various towns and persons mentioned in connection represent the brain centers and their presiding geniuses. Galilee means to whirl, that is, energy or life; Nazareth, despised, the sexual center; Judaea, praise; David, love; Bethlehem, house of bread (substance, or stomach center).

It is thus seen that the birth of Christ is the beginning in the inner realms of consciousness of a higher set of faculties that, when grown to full stature, save the whole man from ignorance and sin. It is a growth in man as tangible to those who reach certain stages as is that of the child in the mother. In its beginnings it is a mere quickening flutter, right under the stomach, with, quite often, unusual sensitiveness in the emotional nature. We do not in the first stages of this process understand it, and sometimes are moved to put it away from us. This is the spiritual significance of the statement that Joseph was merely “betrothed” to Mary, yet she was “great with child.” The soul is heavily charged with Divine Life, and so full it cannot express itself intelligently, because no union has yet taken place between it and the understanding (Joseph).

“Swaddling clothes” are bands of cloth in which it was customary to wrap young children like mummies, which represents the confinement to the limitations of the physical nature (“manger”) of this first emanation of Divine Life, “there being no room for them in the inn” (outer consciousness).

The message of the angels to the shepherds are those periodical outbursts of Divine illumination which come to us, and we, for the time, know that something unusual is going on within, but we have our duties in life to fulfill, and we return to our flocks (thoughts) “glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.”

GOLDEN TEXT:  “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”— Luke 2:11.